I’ve Missed You, Old Friend: Rekindling Broken Friendships.

“Hey Jimmie. This is Pokemon(so not his real name) and I was wondering if you’re open to meet up for dinner this week? I would love to catch up with you. Let me know.”

Pokemon(again not his real name) is a former friend of mine that I hadn’t spoken to in a couple of years until two months ago via text message. Lack of communication and misunderstandings lead to our friendship’s demise. I thought Pokemon was an asshole and vice versa.

Pokemon’s personality also played a role into why we fell out. He had the personality of a church mother: prudish, judgmental, and a greater than thou attitude. His jokes would hit friends below the belt and when confronted with this issue, he refused to take accountability for his actions. So did we reconnect? More on that later.

Over the past three weeks, I’ve been thinking about my friendships: past, present, and future. After listening to my good friend Drama Dupree’s podcast about old friendships, I’ve began to wonder why I no longer speak to certain people and what type friend am I to the people in my life?

If you’ve been a long time reader of the blog, you know I’ve discussed former friendships, frenemies, and cutting off toxic relationships in the past. However, I’ve never discussed what role I might have played in why these failed friendships. Similar to relationships,  friendships also require work , communication, understanding, and compromise.

In my mind, I am the best friend that anyone can have. The one you can call when you need a shoulder to cry or vent out your frustrations. The friend who supports you no matter what decisions you make. The friend who will pull you to the side and tell you that “You’re fucking up but we will get through this together”. Most importantly, the friend that will never stab you in the back or air your business to  the world.

However, I do have some things to work on friendship wise. My brutal honesty comes across as insensitive. At times, I can be arrogant, negative, and mean. I have high standards for the people in my life and if they don’t live up to those standards, I will cut them off immediately. And my communication skills suck.

My brutal honesty, arrogance, and occasional negative attitude are used as defense mechanisms. From past experiences, I didn’t stand up for myself and I allowed people to treat me like shit. Since I despise liars and hate being lied to, I believe that honest is the best policy if even it may hurt. My confidence can be misinterpreted as arrogance. As a proud black gay man in this world, it is essential for me to keep my head up high and exude confidence in every environment I am in. I am the King and Queen of my life and treat myself as so. I want my friends to also have the confidence of royalty.

Since I am the King and Queen, my standards for people are high but attainable. I expect the people in my life to be respectful, loyal, consistent, and most importantly, ambitious. After all, those are the standards I try to exude to anyone I consider a friend. If every conversation that I have with a “friend” feels like a huge reading session, I will cut ties with that person. I do not want that negative energy around me. I love seeing my friends reach their goals and vice versa. I want everyone to “win” at whatever they want to do. Friends are supposed to complement, not compete with each other.

Admittedly, my communication skills  suck. I blame it on social media. Prime example, I was under the impression that a good girlfriend of mine was having the time of her life with her two kids and husband based on her Facebook posts. Additionally, I work with her husband and he would tell me if something was wrong. In my mind, Girlfriend’s life was Gucci, Louie, Prada.

However, I was in my feelings. We were supposed to link up a few times but plans will get cancelled at the last-minute for various reasons. Whether it was the children, the husband, or that thing that women go through monthly, plans were constantly cancelled. In my mind, if you consistently cancel plans with me, you do not want to be bothered. So I will minimize my communication and interactions with you  including invitations to hang out. However, I will like your pictures on social media.

After months of not speaking, Girlfriend and I reconnected offline and aired our grievances. During that time, I found out she was having personal issues including being overwhelmed with being a mother of two toddlers. “Just because I don’t use my social media as journal,” Girlfriend said, “doesn’t mean that I don’t need anyone to talk to.”  I expressed that I would make efforts at being a better friend and I  understand her new responsibilities as a mother and wife. I know she has to plan ahead. She just can’t jump up and go to Africa like T-Boz and Nas  in Belly (SIDE FUCKING NOTE: That had to be the worst line ever written in movie history. Did they think Africa was just a bus trip away from New York? And who the fuck thought it was a good idea to even make a Belly sequel?

Did Pokemon and I meet up for dinner? We did. And met up a few times after. Our initial meeting, admittedly, was rocky because we were discussing our past grievances of each other. However, we both asked for forgiveness and wanted a solution on how we can reestablish a friendship. Pokemon and I have both grown since the last two years of not speaking and we both have different outlooks on life now. Here’s to rekindling friendships.

What is the one lesson you’ve learned from former friendships? Share your thoughts below.